Cincinnati Reds – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-08-12T03:07:57Z WordPress TC Zencka <![CDATA[Astros Acquire Brooks Raley From Reds]]> 2020-08-10T01:03:27Z 2020-08-10T00:44:06Z The Houston Astros acquired Brooks Raley from the Reds for a player to be named later, the Reds announced. Raley was designated for assignment on Thursday.

In a corresponding move, the Astros transferred closer Roberto Osuna to the 45-day injured list, per Mark Berman of Fox 26. Osuna is likely to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Raley made four appearances for the Reds this season, giving up four earned runs in four innings. The 32-year-old appeared in the major leagues for the first time since his initial appearances with the Cubs in 2012 and 2013. The southpaw has been a reliable rotation arm in the KBO for the past five seasons, however. Raley made 30 or 31 starts in each season from 2015 to 2019 for the Lotte Giants, totalling a 48-53 record with a 4.13 ERA across 910 2/3 innings. That’s an average season of more than 182 innings per season.

The Astros have struggled to fill out their rotation after an early injury to Justin Verlander. Raley will likely jump into the Houston bullpen if he’s added to the active roster, though his ability to start or pitch multiple innings is certainly a plus for a team looking for length.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Reds Place Mike Moustakas On 10-Day Injured List]]> 2020-08-09T18:36:13Z 2020-08-09T17:06:10Z The Reds announced that infielder Mike Moustakas has been placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to August 6) due to a left quad bruise.  Right-hander Tejay Antone has been called up to take Moustakas’ roster spot.

It’ll be the second injured list stint this year for Moustakas, who missed three games earlier this year after entering COVID-19 protocol when he reported symptoms (though he never tested positive). The 31-year-old has already missed 8 of the Reds’ first 15 contests, owing to that scare and the quad injury that has kept him out of action since Tuesday.

The Reds had hoped that Moustakas would be healthy enough to return in time for their upcoming series versus the Royals, but evidently he’ll need a bit more time to recover. Through his first seven games, Moose is batting .238/.333/.524 with two home runs. With Moustakas on the shelf, it’ll likely be a combination of Christian Colon and Kyle Farmer picking up the slack at second base. Neither Colon nor Farmer has hit especially well in limited plate appearances this year.

Antone, meanwhile, has opened some eyes in his first two outings in the Majors—one as a starter and one in relief. He’s struck out nine batters in 8 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs. Reds fans will get to see more of him in the near future, though with no need for more starters at the moment he’ll be relegated to relief duty.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Nick Senzel, Pedro Strop Day-To-Day With Groin Injuries]]> 2020-08-08T14:14:31Z 2020-08-08T14:14:31Z
  • Both Nick Senzel and Pedro Strop left the Reds’ 8-3 victory over the Brewers with groin injuries.  Senzel departed the game before re-taking his position in center field in the bottom of the fourth inning, while Strop left four pitches into an eighth inning at-bat against Brock Holt.  Both players are day-to-day.  Senzel already missed a few games this season for precautionary reasons (he tested negative for COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms) and he has been plagued with injuries throughout his young career, so the Reds are surely hopeful he can avoid another trip to the injured list.  Strop has a 3.86 ERA through 2 1/3 innings in a Cincinnati uniform, after the veteran right-hander signed a one-year contract with the Reds last winter.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reds Acquire Mark Payton From Athletics]]> 2020-08-08T00:08:20Z 2020-08-07T23:59:56Z The Reds have acquired outfielder Mark Payton from the Athletics for cash considerations, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Cincy took Payton from Oakland during last winter’s Rule 5 Draft, but it returned him to the A’s on July 21.

    The 28-year-old Payton entered the pro ranks as a seventh-round pick of the Yankees in 2014, and he hasn’t played in the majors yet. However, he is coming off a 2019 in which he was a tremendous minor league producer. Payton logged 447 plate appearances with the A’s top minors affiliate, mashed 30 home runs and hit .334/.400/.653 – good for a 148 wRC+ even in the offensively charged Pacific Coast League. He only struck out in 17 percent of trips to the plate, so Payton certainly wasn’t selling out for power.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reds Add 3 To Player Pool]]> 2020-08-07T20:36:19Z 2020-08-07T20:36:19Z The Reds have added left-hander Brandon Finnegan, infielder Rece Hinds and outfielder TJ Friedl to their 60-man player pool, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. All three players will report to the team’s alternate site.

    While he was formerly a high-end prospect whom the Reds acquired from the Royals in the teams’ 2015 Johnny Cueto blockbuster, Finnegan hasn’t made a major impact in the bigs. Finnegan threw 172 innings of 3.98 ERA ball as a Red in 2016, but injuries have helped cut him down since then. He threw just 33 2/3 innings from 2017-18 and then didn’t pitch at all in the majors last season. The Reds outrighted the 27-year-old back in April.

    Both Hinds and Friedl rank among the Reds’ most promising farmhands, as places the former ninth in their system and the latter 22nd. Hinds, just 19 years old, was a second-round pick in 2019 who took a mere 10 plate appearances in rookie ball last season because of a quad injury. The 24-year-old Friedl has topped out at Double-A, where he batted .257/.353/.372 with seven home runs in 565 trips to the plate from 2018-19.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reds Designate Brooks Raley For Assignment]]> 2020-08-06T20:00:44Z 2020-08-06T19:38:14Z The Reds announced Thursday that they’ve designated left-hander Brooks Raley for assignment and recalled righty Jose De Leon from their alternate training site. Cincinnati also optioned second baseman Josh VanMeter and righty Tejay Antone in order to drop down to the requisite 28-player limit that went into effect today.

    Raley, 32, was selected to the Reds’ big league roster last month when the club designated Scott Schebler for assignment. He pitched in four games with Cincinnati but yielded four runs on five hits and a couple of walks through four innings. Raley punched out six hitters but also plunked an alarming three batters in his brief time with the Reds’ bullpen.

    That quick stint marked Raley’s first MLB action since way back in 2013 with the Cubs. He spent the 2015-19 seasons pitching for the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization, for whom he compiled 910 2/3 frames of 4.13 ERA ball with averages of 7.5 strikeouts, 2.7 walks and 0.9 home runs per nine innings pitched. Because of that lengthy run overseas, Raley still has just 42 1/3 Major League frames under his belt. The Reds will have a week to trade him, release him or place him on outright waivers.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Free Agent Stock Watch: Nick Castellanos]]> 2020-08-04T14:43:17Z 2020-08-04T14:43:17Z So … it’s early. Then again, we’re also already a sixth of the way through the season (for some teams, anyway). When it comes to assessing next year’s free agent crop, teams won’t have the luxury of watching a full season of repeat testing.

    That being said, we’re not going to fall into the trap of hyping up early performances. Even a 60-game test is only so significant. Teams will be weighing past track record along with determinations of present skill.

    All of this creates a perfect storm for a player who could end up being the most interesting potential free agent: Nick Castellanos of the Reds. He only donned the uniform for regular season action for the first time a couple of weeks ago, but it’s already time for the still-youthful slugger to ponder the future.

    What’s fascinating in this case is the combination of intriguing factors at play. Agent Scott Boras negotiated a pair of opt out opportunities into the Castellanos deal, allowing him to exit after 2020 or 2021. At 28 years of age, the outfielder still has a good bit of prime left to market.

    On the other side is the swirling economic uncertainty. We know Mookie Betts still got a huge deal, but he could be a special case and he surely could’ve commanded more in “normal” times. It’s anyone’s guess how the season will play out, how 2021 will shape up, and how MLB owners will spend. Oh, and let’s not forget the other looming threat: labor unrest.

    You can be sure that Boras is aware of all of these things. He’s always ready to go to battle. Castellanos is no shrinking violet either.

    That’s why it’s so notable that Castellanos is mashing early on, with a league-leading five home runs and ridiculous .912 slugging percentage through ten games. He’s leading baseball (minimum 20 plate appearances) with a 261 wRC+ and has left Statcast agog at the contact quality. Lest we forget, Castellanos also turned in a monster second half in 2019. It doesn’t take a Boras-sized imagination to envision the narrative potential. If Castellanos ends up with huge numbers in a truncated 2020, Boras will be primed to argue that his client has been among the very best hitters in baseball over his past 162 games.

    This could yet play out in so many different ways. Castellanos could fizzle, or just step back into his typically very productive levels of output. But you can see the potential for a unique bonanza even in spite of the broader uncertainty. The Reds might feel compelled to do what it takes to keep him around if he helps lead a magical season. The market will not feature Betts since he’s locked in with the Dodgers. George Springer remains, but hasn’t been knocking the socks off the ball early. It is fair to note that Marcell Ozuna has also been hot, right along with Castellanos, but there’s room for multiple corner outfielders to earn.

    The biggest remaining wild card? It may be in the collective bargaining. Beyond the potential for a breakdown in negotiations, the next agreement is sure to come with major modifications of incentives that will have to be parsed closely by Boras and other agents.

    But that’s not all. The designated hitter role could be absolutely critical to Castellanos’s outlook in a hypothetical return trip to free agency. That’s now in the game, but only for the unique 2020 season. Odds are it’ll be negotiated into the next CBA as a permanent fixture. If that happens, it’d be quite the boon for market interest in Castellanos. Teams would surely feel much more comfortable investing knowing that they could not only limit his exposure to the outfield grass in the early stages of a deal — while improved, Castellanos is still generally lightly regarded with the glove — but shift him into primary DH duties whenever appropriate.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Reds Place Joey Votto On Injured List; Activate Anthony DeSclafani]]> 2020-08-02T15:26:45Z 2020-08-02T15:02:04Z As expected, the Reds activated right-hander Anthony DeSclafani from the 10-day injured list today, as DeSclafani is scheduled to start the first game of a double-header against the Tigers.  He will take the roster spot of a notable figure, as first baseman Joey Votto will head to the injured list.

    The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale reports that Votto told the Reds he was experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, though he hasn’t had any positive test results for the virus.  As opposed to the regular IL, the coronavirus injured list doesn’t have any minimum absence time attached, so Votto could be back in action within a couple of days if he is feeling better and he continues to test negative.

    Matt Davidson tested positive for COVID-19 last week, a day after appearing in the Reds’ season opener.  This created worries that the entire Reds clubhouse could have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus, and those worries intensified when Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel both began to exhibit symptoms.  Thankfully, neither Moustakas or Senzel tested positive for the virus and both are now back on the active roster, and Davidson was also cleared to return last Friday.

    A right teres major strain sidelined DeSclafani just prior to the Reds’ first game of the season, though the injury was only thought to be serious enough to require a minimal IL stint and one missed start for the right-hander.  DeSclafani is looking to build on a solid 2019 season that saw him post a 3.89 ERA, 3.41 K/BB rate, and 9.0 K/9 over 31 starts and 166 2/3 innings for Cincinnati.  The man they call “Disco” seemed to be emerging as a quality rotation piece for the Reds in 2015-16 before a series of injuries set him back, including elbow problems that kept him out of action for the entire 2017 campaign.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reds Reverse Option On Bowman, Place Him On 10-Day IL]]> 2020-07-31T13:12:38Z 2020-07-31T13:12:38Z
  • The Reds announced yesterday that they’ve reversed their option on right-handed reliever Matt Bowman and instead placed him on the 10-day injured list due to an elbow sprain. That’s both an ominous diagnosis for the 29-year-old Bowman and important distinction with regard to service time. Because Bowman was determined to have an injury that existed prior to being optioned to alternate camp, he’s been brought back up and placed on the Major League injured list, where he’ll receive MLB service time and MLB pay. The Reds didn’t offer a potential timeline for Bowman, who tossed 32 frames for them a year ago and recorded a solid 3.66 ERA with 25 strikeouts against 13 walks (three intentional) with just two homers allowed.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reds To Place Wade Miley On Injured List]]> 2020-07-31T01:02:01Z 2020-07-31T01:02:01Z Just one start into his tenure with the Reds, southpaw Wade Miley is headed to the 10-day injured list with a left groin strain, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Miley joins righty Anthony DeSclafani (strained teres major) as the second member of the Reds’ rotation to go on the IL since last week.

    The 33-year-old Miley, who put forth a solid 2019 effort as a member of the Astros, was one of the Reds’ many notable offseason pickups. The Reds signed him to a two-year, $15MM contract in free agency, but his Cincinnati stint has gotten off to an inauspicious start in the early going. The Cubs tuned up Miley for six runs (five earned) on four hits over 1 2/3 innings in his 2020 debut Monday. In fairness to Miley, though, manager David Bell revealed he “didn’t feel 100 percent and didn’t feel great” in that game. Now, the Reds are hopeful that Miley will return in short order.

    Without Miley and DeSclafani, who Fay notes is doing better, the Reds will keep Tyler Mahle in their rotation behind Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer. Castillo, Gray and Bauer have been excellent thus far, but the playoff-hopeful Reds have only mustered a 2-4 start.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Reds Activate Nick Senzel, Mike Moustakas]]> 2020-07-29T19:02:01Z 2020-07-29T19:02:01Z Reds outfielder Nick Senzel has been cleared to return to the active roster today, he announced on his Twitter account. Infielder Mike Moustakas was also given the green light to resume play, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic adds on Twitter.

    This is obviously great news for the Cincinnati organization, which was missing two key pieces of its anticipated roster. As The Athletic reported earlier, they had appealed a league determination of a lengthier period of absence after the duo had reported some symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19 over the weekend.

    Thankfully, it seems as if there’s no reason to worry that either of the two players has come down with the coronavirus. Both players’ symptoms have since resolved and obviously neither has recorded a positive test.

    The Reds have now announced the moves. The team has created a necessary active roster spot by optioning backstop Tyler Stephenson.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Marlins Claim Josh Smith From Reds]]> 2020-07-27T21:14:41Z 2020-07-27T21:07:04Z The Marlins have claimed a second hurler from the Reds, per a team announcement. Southpaw Josh D. Smith will also go to Miami via waiver claim, joining Justin Shafer.

    Smith, 30, appeared briefly last year with the Marlins and Indians. He’s now the second hurler by the same name in the Miami organization.

    This is one of several roster moves the Marlins are working through. The club is in the midst of an extremely worrying COVID-19 outbreak, with at least 11 players sidelined after positive tests.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Marlins Claim Justin Shafer From Reds]]> 2020-07-27T17:50:36Z 2020-07-27T17:50:36Z The Marlins have claimed right-handed reliever Justin Shafer off waivers from the Reds, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). Cincinnati had designated him for assignment last week.

    It’s surely an odd time for Shafer to learn that he’s on his way to the Marlins organization. Miami has had a reported 11 players and two coaches test positive for Covid-19 since Friday — the result of which has been the postponement of two games, an urgent wave of tests in the Phillies organization and undoubtedly some renewed concern among players throughout the league. The Marlins’ sudden shortage of players has likely left them in something of a scramble; MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted earlier today that they’re working to acquire some MLB-caliber depth to fill the roster.

    Shafer certainly qualifies as that. While the Reds were the second club to designate him for assignment in the past eight months, he has a solid track record in limited MLB action. In 48 Major League innings, Shafer has pitched to a 3.75 ERA  — albeit with an uglier 39-to-25 K/BB ratio. Still, Shafer has been sharp in the upper minors (both Double-A and Triple-A alike) and will give Miami a fresh arm to help soak up some innings in the wake of their team outbreak.

    George Miller <![CDATA[Reds Claim Robel Garcia]]> 2020-07-26T23:27:01Z 2020-07-26T20:34:34Z The Reds have claimed infielder Robel García off waivers from the Cubs, according to Mark Sheldon of García had been designated for assignment by the Cubs on Thursday. He has been optioned and assigned to the Reds’ alternate training site

    The 27-year-old made a name for himself with his hot hitting in the upper levels of the Cubs’ minor-league system. In 98 games between Double- and Triple-A last year, García hit .284/.369/.586 and slugged 27 home runs. He forced his way into the Cubs’ Major League plans, appearing in 31 games and making 80 plate appearances.

    His hitting slowed down some at the MLB level, and he struck out in a whopping 43.75% of plate appearances. Nonetheless, he managed a respectable .775 OPS, thanks to his 5 home runs and a passable 8.75% walk rate. Primarily a second baseman, García also played both corner outfield positions during his rookie season.

    With an already crowded outfield mix in Cincinnati, he figures to see most of his playing time at second base, which is currently something of a toss-up with Mike Moustakas hitting the injured list; Josh VanMeter occupied that spot this afternoon. VanMeter, a left-handed hitter, could form a platoon with the switch-hitting García, though the latter fared considerably better as a lefty in his first taste of big-league action (to be fair, he got just 20 plate appearances against southpaws).

    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Reds Place Mike Moustakas On Injured List]]> 2020-07-26T16:57:37Z 2020-07-26T16:53:08Z The Reds announced they have placed second baseman Mike Moustakas on the injured list. No reason was given for the placement, but Moustakas was scratched from the lineup this morning after waking up “not feeling well,” in the words of manager David Bell. MLB protocols permit a symptomatic player to be placed on the COVID-19 injured list even in the absence of a positive test. Notably, Reds’ DH Matt Davidson tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.

    Catching prospect Tyler Stephenson has been called up to replace Moustakas on the active roster. Additionally, outfielder Nick Senzel was scratched from today’s starting lineup without further explanation. Senzel remains on the active roster.

    This would be a worrisome development for Moustakas and the Reds no matter what, but it’s especially troubling in conjunction with today’s reports that multiple Marlins players had tested positive for COVID-19. The paramount concern, of course, remains the health of the players affected. It’s important to note there’s no confirmation at this point Senzel is dealing with an illness at all.

    From an on-field perspective, a lengthy absence from Moustakas would be a difficult blow to the Reds’ hopes of contention. They promised him $64MM over four years to install his power bat into the lineup. Josh VanMeter is getting the start at second base this afternoon.

    Stephenson, meanwhile, is one of the game’s top catching prospects. The 23-year-old is in line to make his MLB debut after an impressive .285/.372/.410 showing in a pitcher-friendly Double-A environment last season.